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The Fiscal Cliff

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
24 S 
East Berlin S 
Glitter and Doom S 
Iron Curtain, The S 
Joppa Road S 
Joyride S 
Large Marge S 
Lot Lizards S 
Over the Top S 
Runaway Truck Ram S 
Systemic Risk S 

The Fiscal Cliff Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,900'
Location: 39.74583, -105.40496 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,266
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Thor Kieser on Oct 26, 2012

63° | 39°

63° | 38°

69° | 42°

68° | 41°

65° | 38°

65° | 40°
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Raptor Closures - 2016 Tunnel 2 Closure Lifted / Upper Canyon Road closures MORE INFO >>>


This area is on the south side of Clear Creek river just west of the CO 119/US 6 between the junction and Tunnel 5. I put two short, pumpy routes (six clips) in a few years ago, and there is potential for several more.

A? Systemic Risk, 11-, 1p, 50', bolts.
B? Glitter and Doom, 11+, 1p, 50', bolts.
C. Colliding, 1p, bolts.
D. Over the Top, 12-, 1p, 35', bolts.
E. Runaway Truck Ram, 12-, 1p, 35', bolts.
F. Large Marge, 11+, 1p, 40', bolts.
G. Joppa Road, 12-, 1p, 30', bolts.
H. Lot Lizards, 11, 1p, 35', bolts.
I. Joyride, 8, 1p, 45', bolts.
J. East Berlin, 7, 1p, 70', bolts.
K. The Iron Curtain, 8, 1p, 70', bolts.
L. 24, 9+, 1p, 80', bolts.

From Peak to Plains Trail: rockfall mitigation near the Oxbow Parcel in Clear Creek Canyon is complete, though the popular climbing site referred to as Fiscal Cliff remains designated as a construction zone. Crews would like to remind climbers that these areas remain off limits for safety concerns. More info may be obtained from:

Getting There 

About 100 to 200 yards past the junction, there is a small pullout on the south side of the road. Pull up behind a guard rail, there is only room for one car. A pleasant 10 minute walk west along the river will get you to the cliff. The cliff is on the river bank.


There are ticks in this area.

Climbing Season

For the Clear Creek Canyon area.

Weather station 5.9 miles from here

11 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',5],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Fiscal Cliff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Fiscal Cliff:
Joyride   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
Lot Lizards   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
Large Marge   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Over the Top   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Fiscal Cliff

Featured Route For The Fiscal Cliff
Rock Climbing Photo: Michael Goodhue just past the crux.

24 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  CO : Golden : ... : The Fiscal Cliff
Start on the ledge with lots of loose dirt and blocks. The crux comes in the first 2 bolts with some thin moves up the clean slab. Continue up on positive holds with fun moves....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Comments on The Fiscal Cliff Add Comment
Show which comments
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 26, 2012
I have wondered whose routes those were! This is practically below the Mourning Glory crag near the creek and just past where you would start trudging up the hill to Mourning Glory.

There is potential for quite a bit of new stuff all over this area....

Rock Climbing Photo: Approach to Mourning Glory. Park before the bridge...
Approach to Mourning Glory. Park before the bridge (0.2 miles) after turning at the Y junction.
By Geoff U
From: Centennial, CO
May 13, 2013
This is a really neat area - definitely a lot of potential remaining, even for a few long pitches. Still cleaning up though - pulled off a considerable amount of rock when was here. Also, ticks in the area. A plus though is we stayed dry when it was raining.
By Linda Felz
Oct 17, 2014
Hi. If you bolt more of the rock, could you please put in some 5.6-5.8. I am short, older, and climb with a brace. I can lead easier climbs. I can climb up to a 5.10 if my husband leads but like the leading. Thanks
By Steve Schwettman
Aug 18, 2016
Are these the first climbs on the right that you come to when walking downstream on the Peaks to Plains trail after parking at the new parking lot after Tunnel 5?

If so, now that the Peaks to Plains trail is open, I imagine these climbs will get all kinds of attention, as the belayer is essentially standing on the trail! There is a bit of grass to get slightly off the trail.

The rightmost two climbs in this area have probably been ruined by a huge cable that has been anchored there to support a net that prevents rockfall onto the trail. They may still be climbable, but the situation doesn't look good.
By 2 chains
From: Denver
Aug 21, 2016
Linda, if you buy the bolts and hangers, I'll put up a route with you.... Or you can go out and bolt a line yourself.... Bolt fairies don't like bolting easy routes. Or go 100 yard up canyon to The Other Critters if you want 5.4s.

Besides that... one of the best crags in the canyon.... You will be like.... Damn, look at that hold!!! Bring a bike or skate board to make the approch easier.
By Josh
From: Golden, CO
Aug 29, 2016
A friendly suggestion for anyone visiting the Fiscal Cliff: please keep belayers and gear and whatnot off the new paved trail to avoid unnecessary conflict with bikers and hikers. Now that the Peak-to-Plains Trail is open in this section of the canyon, access to this cliff and a few others is much, much easier. However, the trail also sits essentially at the base of this crag, and it is on an outside corner. For cyclists, this means they may not be able to see a belayer who is standing on the paved trail until they are too close.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Oct 17, 2016
The best, legal, approach to this crag is not what is described here. There is an area closed sign at the start of the approach if you park where it is suggested here. You can walk down the new path from the Catslab parking area if you wish to take the legal approach. This takes 10-15 minutes, and it could be faster if you ride a bike or skateboard. You can park in the new lot for the trail alongside the road.

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